Our Nursery and Reception classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which covers from birth to 5 years. The emphasis is on learning through structured play within a well planned environment. There is a balance between adult-led and child-initiated activities. Our safe and secluded wooded grounds mean that the children can choose to learn inside or outdoors for part of the day. Our Nursery and Reception classes are well staffed with appropriately qualified and experienced teachers, nursery nurses and teaching assistants.
The Foundation Stage curriculum is divided into the following seven areas:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Understanding of the World
Expressive Arts and Design
All children are assessed against these areas of learning throughout their time in nursery and reception. At the end of their Reception Year children will be assessed against the Foundation Stage Profile.
Key Stage 1
This covers Years 1 and 2, ages 5-7, when children follow the National Curriculum. English, Maths, PE, RE and Music are taught as discrete subjects and the other areas are brought together as a topic, e.g. Homes. Each year group follows a different topic on a half-termly basis.
Reading is an important part of our curriculum, as well as mastering the phonic skills we aim to foster a love of books. As soon as they enter the Nursery, children are introduced to the Read Write Inc letter sounds using large letters, objects and actions. When they move into Reception they start daily phonics lessons using the Read Write Inc scheme. They will take books home to read and parents are encouraged to help their children to ‘sound out’ words. In Year 2 once the children have mastered phonics they progress to developing their comprehension skills.
We introduce children to a cursive writing script in the Reception classes and from Year 1 onwards we encourage them to join their writing. In Years 1 and 2 the children will have weekly spellings to learn. The children learn a number of traditional stories using a story telling approach which involves them reciting the story whilst doing some actions. This helps them to learn new vocabulary and also helps when writing their own stories. In Key Stage 1 children are taught specific lessons about grammar and spend time on developing creative writing skills.
What Does Maths Look Like at St Meriadoc Infant Academy?
At St Meriadoc Infant Academy we follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics, using the Maths No Problem Scheme of Work.
Incorporating the use of resources, problem solving and group work, the Maths No Problem Primary Series is child-centred and fun to teach and was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it alone met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery.
National Curriculum for Mathematics
Maths textbooks and workbooks for years 1 and 2.
Based on the evidence-based approach developed in Singapore.
Fully aligned with the 2014 English National Curriculum for maths.
Complies with the UK’s High Quality Textbook guidance published by the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM).
Teaching Maths for Mastery.
The whole class works through the programme of study at the same pace with ample time on each topic before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years.
Tasks and activities are designed to be easy for pupils to enter whilst still containing challenging components. The textbooks also contain non-routine questions for pupils to develop their higher-order thinking skills. In addition, we use mastery and greater depth tasks in order to further challenge pupils. Children may complete pre-teach tasks with an adult prior to the start of the lesson so that they can successfully access the learning that day.
Lessons and activities are designed to be taught using problem-solving approaches to encourage pupils’ higher-level thinking. The focus is on working with pupils’ core competencies, building on what they know to develop their relational understanding. This is based on Richard Skemp’s research work.
Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) Approach
Based on Jerome Bruner’s research work, pupils learn new concepts by initially using concrete objects, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations before finally using more abstract symbols, such as the equals sign.
The questions and examples are carefully varied by expert authors to encourage pupils to think about the maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples are designed to deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.
By incorporating established learning research into a highly effective approach, Singapore has become a “laboratory of maths teaching”. The Primary Maths Series is founded on the international research of Piaget, Dienes, Bruner, Skemp and Vygotsky and has been tested and refined over the last 30 years in Singapore.
The Maths — No Problem! primary series was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it alone met the core criteria for a high quality textbook to support teaching for mastery. As a result, the Maths – No Problem! Primary series is the only textbook which has been placed on a list of recommended textbooks for schools on the mastery programme.
EYFS use the CPA approach (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) when learning new concepts in maths. Lessons are planned in line with the Singapore approach.
Our calculation policy is based on the Singapore maths approach found in the Maths No Problem scheme. Each method is taught to children following the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach. Please see the link to our Calculations policy.
Support for Parents
There are a number of videos which explain the key methods taught using Maths No Problem – these can be found using the following link: https://mathsnoproblem.com/en/parent-videos/
As a Church school RE is an important part of our curriculum. It is taught in accordance with the agreed county syllabus (Agreed County Syllabus) and wherever possible is planned to fit into our topic theme for the half term. Our school was the first in the County to be judged as ‘outstanding’ for its distinctive Christian character and ethos (SIAMS 2007. 2010 and again 2015). We have daily whole school worship sessions which are led by a member of the local clergy, Senior Management Team and Class Teachers on a rota basis and other local Faith leaders or visitors from various charities when they are available. We regularly worship in the Parish Church. We welcome children of all faiths and respect the right of parents to withdraw their child from all or part of any religious instruction or worship, in accordance with the 1944 Education Act.
ICT is a vital part of everyday life in today’s society and as such we place great emphasis on children becoming confident, independent and safe users of computers and related hardware. We have a secure password-protected wireless network with broadband access to the Internet from anywhere within the school. Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard. We have a trolley of laptops which enable children to work in their own classroom and have sufficient devices for one between two children. We also have a set of 30 ipads for the children to use in their lessons. From an early age we teach children the importance of safe use of the Internet using the Think You Know resources
We are fortunate to have lovely grounds including a productive polytunnel and class growing areas. Small groups of children go out every afternoon to work in the grounds with an experienced Teaching Assistant This means that children are able to learn about science topics in a practical and meaningful way. The children grow a variety of flowers, fruit and vegetables which they either use in cooking projects or sell in order to generate funds to buy more equipment and materials for the gardens. In 2014 the school achieved Level 4 in It's Your Neighbourhood Award.
We have been awarded ‘Healthy Schools Plus’ status which is an award to celebrate our achievement in PE and promoting healthy lifestyles. All children take part in twice weekly PE sessions which include dance, gymnastics, athletics and games. We have a good selection of well maintained PE equipment. All children participate in a weekly lesson taken by Nick Eagles, a sports specialist, which is based on the skills required to play team games.
Personal, Social, Health Education and Citizenship
After careful consideration the Governors of St Meriadoc Infant School decided that, as the school does not have a specific structured programme for sex education within the framework of a PSHE & Citizenship programme, the staff will respond individually and at an appropriate time to the needs of the child.
We cover areas such as healthy living, keeping safe, the importance of exercise etc through our science topic work. We encourage and discuss concepts of good citizenship, equality and diversity through our RE and Philosophy lessons as well as through our whole school ethos and Christian character.
We aim to inspire pupils curiosity to know more about Britain's past and that of the wider world. Where possible we use artefacts which the pupils can handle and observe. From their experiences we encourage pupils to think critically, ask questions and develop perspective and judgement.
During Geography lessons we will develop pupils curiosity about the world and its people. Pupils will explore the diversity of places, people and natural and human environments.
Art lessons are based on developing the key skills of drawing and exploring different techniques and materials. Each class has the opportunity to work with a local artist for a term.
Pupils learn how to plan, design and evaluate their ideas and products. The pupils learn about nutrition and healthy food choices through cooking and gardening.
Music lessons within our school aim to develop the children's' experiences of a wide range of musical genres. Children will sing, create compositions, play instruments and begin to use notation.
Topics are planned for each half term and are covered in both the Foundation Stage and KS1. Please see the individual class pages for more topic information.
How to find out more
If you would like more information about the curriculum we follow, please speak to your child's class teacher. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond to your query.